Spirit of a Ranger
Not In Tokyo-3 Anymore…
Disclaimer: I do not own the classic anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, nor do I own the Japanese-American pop culture phenomenon that is Power Rangers. Those are the respective property of Gainax and…. well, the other one ranges from Saban to Disney, depending on the season in question.
Yes, it's an Evangelion/Power Rangers crossover. Mighty Morphin', to be precise. Strange as hell? Damn right.
Summary: Shinji winds up in our world, and has to come to accept a universe that actually isn't out to make him suffer needlessly, and he learns to unleash the potential that had always lain dormant within himself.
Rating: T for now, may raise to M later.
Pairing: Shinji/Kat, other stuff in the background.
"I'm talking to someone."
'If there's only one quote-mark, then I am (gasp) quoting someone.'
"If underlined, I'm talking to someone or myself in Japanese."
'And now I am thinking to myself.'
"And bold, within the story, is reserved for Zordon and/or the Angels, 'cause they're boss."
As for Billy being able to speak Japanese, well… half the good technology stuff seems to come from Japan, so let's assume he learned the language on his free time so he could get to use it more quickly or something.
Shinji had long ago resigned himself to the fact that he was going to die alone, here, inside the Twelfth Angel.
Watching the last few seconds of his emergency power tick down down down, Shinji decided that he probably wouldn't even be missed. For some reason, the knowledge that he wouldn't ever trouble anyone else didn't give him the comfort he thought it would. He realized, with a start, that he wanted to be remembered, that he wanted someone – anyone – to grieve for him. But that was not only wistful, but selfish as well.
After all, only important people left enough of an impact for others to lose sleep over their passing. Asuka, his father, and others had told him often enough that he was worthless, so his death would actually be doing the world a favor, right?
Forcing himself to be content that he could at least do one useful thing in his life, he hoped that whoever replaced him would be kind enough to take care of Misato and Asuka. Since they were almost guaranteed to be more competent than he was, they would certainly do a better job of it.
It also didn't escape his notice that the moment he'd started feeling confident and tried showing some bravado, was when the damn Angel had consumed him.
Suddenly, the darkness surged, and welcoming death's embrace, Shinji closed his eyes with a smile…
And then opened them with a frown when his body told him that he was prone on the ground, in a grassy area, no longer submerged in LCL, and the sun was on his face.
Puzzeled, he sat up, noted that his plugsuit had somehow morphed into his normal clothes, and looking around, observed that he was apparently in some kind of park.
As Shinji got to his feet, he came to the conclusion that either the afterlife was really weird, or that he hadn't even managed to die properly. Biting down on the inside of his cheek hard, he winced and decided that it was the latter.
Sighing, Shinji figured that he needed first and foremost to figure out where he was, and as much as he didn't want to, try to find a way back to NERV.
As soon as he reached the sidewalk, he ran into a cop.
And as the uniform, speech, and then the architecture he came to the most shocking realization yet.
'I don't think we're in Japan anymore…'
Forcing himself back to the present, Shinji realized that the policeman was trying to talk with him. Although listening to Asuka gave him a good enough grasp of what English (and also German) sounded like that he could identify it for what it was, he couldn't really speak it at all.
Apologetically, Shinji said, "I'm sorry officer, but I can't understand what you're saying."
While the law enforcement officer didn't have a clue what the boy had said, he did realize that for the moment, they couldn't communicate with each other.
Gesturing for the boy to follow him, the uniformed man led the way to the station, where he made a phone call.
When the police officer – Lt. Stone, going by his tag and badge – saw that Shinji was still standing up, he attempted to convey that Shinji was welcome to have a seat, and offered him a soft drink.
Shinji got the gist of it, and while he did sit down, he tried to politely decline the soda.
After about ten minutes of awkward silence, a muscular young man wearing jeans and a blue t-shirt entered, asked Lt. Stone something, then turned to Shinji and said in passable Japanese, "Hello, there. My name is Billy Cranston, and I'll be interpreting between you and Lt. Stone here. What's your name?"
Looking up at the older teen, Shinji replied, "Shinji Ikari."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Shinji. Where are you from?"
Seemingly confused, Billy repeated, "Tokyo… three? In Japan?"
After Shinji nodded, Billy said, "Shinji… there's only one Tokyo. There is no Tokyo-2 or -3. Do you remember what happened before you arrived in Angel Grove?"
Sighing, Shinji replied, "I was trying to fight the Twelfth Angel, when its shadow swallowed me and Unit-01 up, and then I spent the next half a day dying as the oxygen filtration and LCL heating systems gradually ran out of power, and then when I came to, my plugsuit had turned into my normal clothes somehow and I stranded in the park."
Curious and concerned, Billy then asked Shinji to explain about the Angel and Unit-01, which led to Shinji having to explain Second Impact and NERV and what little he knew about the Evangelions, and why he was both confused and incredulous that Billy apparently had never heard about Second Impact, at which point he was asked what year it was.
"That's easy, it's 2015 of course."
A grim look on his face, Billy handed him a newspaper and said, "Shinji, I think you should look at today's date."
So he did… and his jaw dropped at what he saw.
July 15, 1995.
To hell with being in another country, he'd somehow been trapped in another time.
As Billy relayed the gist of Shinji's story to Lt. Stone, the Eva pilot tried to wrap his mind around what was going on. He was somehow twenty years in the past. That means that none of his classmates had been born yet, and neither had he. Hell, he'd be older than anybody he knew, with the exception of Subcommander Fuyutsuki, and possibly his father.
And then, terror gripped him. Shinji knew that almost his entire story would sound completely impossible in a world prior to Second Impact. Not only that, but because he claimed to be from the future, he would likely be regarded as crazy and not only never get any help returning, but he could very well be locked away in some kind of asylum.
It was at this point that Billy said, "So since you just got here, I guess you don't have a place to stay, right?"
This was so completely different from what he'd expected that he visibly jumped and could only dumbly say, "Huh? But, but… Wait a minute… You believe me?"
Billy explained, "Of course I do. You sound like you're telling the truth as best as you understand it, and in a lot of ways, it's not really all that far-fetched. Angel Grove gets monster attacks… on average a few times a week. And when the Power Rangers defeat them, they come back the size of a skyscraper, at which point the Rangers summon summon the Megazord, which is essentially a robot of the same size. Compared to some of the stuff this city's seen, time travel would be relatively normal, especially under the circumstances you seem to describe. Which brings me back to my original question – you don't have a place to stay, do you?"
Shaking his head, Shinji had a vague idea of where this seemed to be going, but knew that it couldn't possibly –
"Well for the short term, you're welcome to stay at my place."
Jaw dropping comically, Shinji stuttered for a few moments, eventually getting his act together and saying things like, "But I'd just take up space," "I don't want to impose," and best of all, "Even if it were really okay, there's no way for me to repay your kindness!"
Almost knocked out of his chair by the torrent of attempts to politely decline the offer, Billy Cranston's forehead creased in concern. He knew that the Japanese were more socially reserved than Americans were, and understood that as a rule they tended more towards humility, but this was getting ridiculous.
There is a line between humility and verbally tearing oneself to pieces, and Shinji had crossed it about five seconds in.
A bit forcefully, just enough to get the younger boy's attention, Billy said, "Shinji!"
As the Eva Pilot became exceedingly quiet, Billy massaged his temples a bit and said, "Listen, it wouldn't be an imposition at all. And I actually do mean that, I'm not just saying it to be nice. My family is in Europe for the summer, so until mid-August, there's actually quite a bit of space for you. Even after notifying social services, it's still going to take at least two or three weeks before they could arrange anything, during which time you're stuck. And I don't expect you to repay me, either."
The rational part of Shinji's was doing just fine, able to mostly accept pretty much everything, until that last sentence. Confused beyond belief, he asked, "But… if you don't expect anything out of me… then why? I'm a total stranger, you've never met me before today! Why are you being so nice to me?"
Now it was Billy's turn to be confused again, as he immediately replied, "Why am I…? Because it's my nature. If someone needs my help, I don't think twice about it. I'm helping you because I want to, and because you need me to. That's all there is to it."
And then it clicked inside Shinji's head. Billy was naturally that compassionate to other people, just like Shinji was.
As Billy Cranston extended the hand of friendship to Shinji Ikari, the younger teen accepted it, and although neither of them realized it at that moment, the destinies of two worlds were forever changed.
It wasn't until after they left the station that Shinji finally asked, "So er… Who or what exactly are the Power Rangers?"
I decided that that was as good a place to end it as any. While they aren't yet on my profile, I've had a couple of other NGE/PR fics on my mind as well.
Anyway, if you want me to continue this, then I want you to review and tell me WHY you like it. Or, if you think this fic is a load of crock, then tell me why you think that.